Castaway Survival Extended Skills Camp Program Details

Schedule

Drop-off: Please arrive between 8:45 AM and 9:00 AM for sign-in.  We will do a Covid-19 Health Check upon arrival, with the intention of having all campers signed in by 9:15 AM.

Pick-up: Please arrive to pick up and sign out at 5:00 PM.

Location

Pick up and Drop off: Holy Innocents Catholic Church – 26526 NE Cherry Valley Rd, Duvall, WA 98019. We’ll be set up in the northern portion of the parking lot (furthest from the entrance). Follow the “Wilderness Awareness School” signs to find us. Please DO NOT park in the upper lot near the road, the church needs this space for their own uses.

We will be transporting campers by van to our campus 15 minutes east of Duvall in the foothills of the Cascade Mountains. It takes about 45 minutes to get to Duvall from Seattle without traffic

You can get Google directions here.

Sign-In and Sign-Out

Campers must be signed in every morning and signed out every afternoon by an adult authorized by the parent.  We will check identification at pickup until we recognize faces, and this ID must match the name of an authorized adult.  Please make a note at sign in if your child is going home with someone else not previously listed as authorized. Sign in each morning will be at the camp director’s table. Sign out each afternoon will be with your child’s instructor. 

No Early Arrival or Late Pickup
Although our staff are on site before and after sign in and after sign out, this time is used for program planning and debrief and it is critical to providing a great camp experience. We know that this is challenging for working parents and appreciate your understanding. 

Wild Foods

In our survival camps we look for opportunities for our students to have the experience of sampling wild foods.  This experience will include opportunities to correctly identify and gather edible plants and how to safely prepare them for eating.  There may be opportunities for them to experience fishing and/or hunting bullfrogs and potentially gathering edible invertebrates.  All experiences will include how to correctly identify species and how to comply with the rules and regulations governing the collection of these species.  We will also include how to humanely and respectfully take the life of these animals and how to safely prepare and cook them.  All of these activities will be optional and if you have any concerns or questions about these opportunities please talk to the camp director at check in.  We will work with you to ensure that your child’s experiences are within the boundaries of what you believe to be safe and appropriate for your family.

What Your Child Should Wear

  • Comfortable clothes that can get very dirty and are appropriate for the weather.  If it is cold or raining, please avoid cotton clothing.  Cotton is great for beautiful sunny summer days.  Fleece, wool and synthetic fibers stay warm when wet.
  • Sturdy closed toe shoes that can get wet and dirty
  • Raingear or poncho if significant rain is in the forecast

What to Pack in your Child’s Backpack

Please send the following items in a small backpack with two shoulder straps.  They will need to carry their pack throughout the day.

  • Lunch (We do not allow sharing of food due to allergy risks.)
  • Mid-morning snack
  • Full water bottle or hydration pack (1 liter minimum, larger kids may need 2 liters)
  • Sun protection or Sunblock – apply before camp
  • Bug repellant if desired (herb based, as opposed to DEET-based, is encouraged)
  • Extra layer or rain gear for cold, damp weather. Synthetic or wool is better than cotton.
  • Fixed blade knife that meets specifications:
    • For this camp please send your child with a sharp, fixed-blade knife with sheath and with a blade 4” or shorter.  NO SERRATION.  Serrated blades are not good for carving projects and are difficult to sharpen.  Knife safety will be taught, and campers will be supervised in their use. Folding “pocket” knives are not safe for these activities and are not allowed at our camps.
      • Morakniv Companion is the knife we recommend and sell at the time of registration.

What NOT to Pack

  • Electronic devices, games, and screen based gadgets (Mobile phones may be carried turned off inside a ziploc bag inside the pack, but are not to be used during camp.)
  • Excess extra clothes – an extra layer / rain gear is fine if necessary but please do not pack a change of clothes for after camp in their backpack. This adds extra weight and bulk that tires kids out. Keep these (or a blanket or towel for your muddy child to sit on) in your car. 
  • Extra weight. We will be hiking each day, and heavy backpacks become a challenge for all. Bring only what you need. 

What to Expect at Camp

Monday Morning: 
Please arrive between 8:45 and 9:00 to sign your child in. The camp director of your child’s camp will greet you at the sign-in table. We are asking parents to do health checks and temperature checks at home. For more information and guidance, please visit our COVID-19 page. Monday and Tuesday will take a bit longer as staff and parents learn the ropes. We intend to have all campers signed in by 9:15 – 9:30 AM. Please keep your child with you until after sign in. At that point your child will be invited to join their group. This is a good time to check in with the camp director if you have any questions or concerns. The camp director can pass along any important information to your child’s instructor once the initial arrival phase has passed.

Daily Schedule: 
Each morning there will be an active game that campers can join as they arrive.  This is followed by one of the staff sharing a story that introduces a general theme or focus for the day. After the story, campers head out to inhabit the “Island,” practicing and learning survival skills interspersed with fun games and adventures.

Groupings:
At camp, students are placed into small groups called “clans.” If you requested that your child be placed with a friend at registration, we do our best to honor that request and sometimes we are not able to meet every request.   Requests for students of significantly different ages to be grouped together will not be accommodated.

Coyote Mentoring and Nature Connection:
We call our natural flow style of teaching “Coyote Mentoring.”  Our goal is not only to teach kids about nature but more importantly to help them develop deeper connection to nature, their friends, and themselves while having wild fun outside.  You can learn more on the about us and about Summer Camps sections of our website or by checking out our book Coyote’s Guide to Connecting to Nature.

If you have any questions, please email us at registrar@wildernessawareness.org.  We look forward to seeing you this summer!

With Gratitude,

Dan Corcoran – Program DirectorJared Archbold – Summer Program Manager
Wilderness Awareness School